The Cleveland Browns will see a familiar face on the opposite sideline in Miami. Dolphins Head Coach Mike McDaniel was once a member of the Browns coaching staff. While many may recognize McDaniel for his sense of humor at the podium in viral clips from press conferences and interviews, many may not remember that he was once a member of the Browns coaching staff.
McDaniel is just 39 years old but has been in the NFL since the age of 22 in 2025. He started his coaching career as an intern under Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan. The Shanahan connection would be a common denominator as he continued to rise through the ranks for the next 16 years.
His next stop would be with the Houston Texans as an offensive assistant with HC Gary Kubiak who also spent time with McDaniel in Denver. He would ultimately spend time with Kyle Shanahan on the Texans staff as well.
After a 2-year stop in the UFL, he would return to Mike Shanahan’s staff as an offensive assistant in 2011. It was with the Washington Redskins that he would find his first NFL position coach role with the wide receivers.
In 2014 Mike Pettine brought in Mike McDaniel as the Browns wide receivers coach. The Browns Offensive Coordinator that year? You guessed it: Kyle Shanahan. McDaniel coached the likes of Travis Benjamin, Andrew Hawkins, Josh Gordon, and Miles Austin. Shanahan wouldn’t spend another season in Cleveland and neither would McDaniel.
McDaniel’s time with the Browns may be most famous for his facial expressions behind Shanahan on a trick play with Johnny Manziel.
McDaniel moved on to the Atlanta Falcons as an offensive assistant in 2015. In 2017 he would join Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. 2021 was the year McDaniel would be promoted to offensive coordinator.
Following the 2021 season, the Miami Dolphins hired Mike McDaniel at 38 years old. Since taking over, he has gotten off to a hot 6-3 start after reigniting the offense around Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle.